I've grown up believing if you want something done properly, do it yourself. I've come to realise that that just isn't the way. If you want it done properly, find the right person to do it. For a long time my story, my identity has been based upon being a warrior woman. Being someone who is Juggling a Million Things. Currently a woman with three growing businesses (the studio, Both Feet actor training and then my freelance work) and two small children. Many people have said, "wow Steph, I don't know how you do it". And inside I smile, because I like being someone who does stuff. But the reality is, I'm exhausted. And I'm in a constant state of stress management. Even though I know I'm good at what I do (including stress management!), I often feel like I'm failing at all of it. Recently, my heart broke at the parent-teacher meeting (which I only just made in time) where I got to look through Fox's book he draws and writes about his life/adventures and I realised I wasn't mentioned once. Even the adventures I'd taken him on, I was missing from the picture and the words. It matters, that I'm everywhere and nowhere, to a five year old. I'm often late in replying to people's messages, emails, booking requests. I lose new people who want to work with me because I don't manage to reply quickly enough, or ever. I'm full of excellent ideas and intentions and so often don't finish them or follow them through to the end because something imminent has cropped up. It matters. It all matters. The truth is, I want to be exquisite at working with humans and actors. I want to run successful businesses and I want and need to be the best mum, wife, friend I can be. And I want to be alive. To do any/all of those, I need help. A few months ago when working with the incredible lady Justine Gaubert I began to process the idea of taking out a loan to bring in someone who could act as a co-ordinator a few days a week.
Someone who could share the load. It seemed ridiculous, impossible, something way too far away to touch for a few hours but the seed was planted. A month after putting the job role out into the universe and hearing from some bloomin gorgeous humans, yesterday I welcomed Becks to the team. Yes, the team.
I went for a walk last night, the sky full of stars, the night cold and crisp. I began to process. My heart changed its rhythm, my tum began to tingle and twist. Who am I if I'm not the Person Juggling a Million Things? If I'm not the person doing All The Stuff? Does it somehow make me less of a person? Will people respect me less? Love me less? If I've got help, there's nothing to hide behind if I fail. I let my mind wander and wonder. It settled on this: it's not about the less, it's about the more. To be more present. More awake. More available. More of a mum. More of a human. More life. I continued to wander and wonder. The truth is, I realised, I have had help for ages. I couldn't do what I do without Iain, that's for sure. Without the loans. Alina has been working with me every Thursday for a year, holding space for me, helping me behind the scenes. Amanda comes and cleans ready for the next guests. Nick's here fortnightly to keep the space looking neat. Lucy as my PT. Beth as a coach. Humans and actors I've trained guide and support me regularly. So many people around me help me. And now I have Becks who'll be with me 32 hours each week, so I can be more. I say to actors, "f*ck it, let's fail and fail spectacularly". So here I am. I've invested everything I have, metaphorically, literally, emotionally, mentally. I am a warrior woman and I do juggle a lot, but I don't have to juggle everything on my own. My strength comes from accepting help. Being strong enough to say I can't do what I've been doing any more and I really do need more help. I'm ready and willing to fail, and fail spectacularly, with nothing to hide behind.